‘Academic’ Blogging?

After being encouraged by my colleague Larry Hurtado, I have decided it is best that I be more active blogging about my ongoing research.  I realise this is an odd exercise – to blog about academic work.  Academia is generally for stuffy old people in ivory towers – I’m neither (that) old nor have an office in a tower.  More importantly, blogging is an activity that is more off-the-cuff than the carefully outlined, drafted, redrafted, finalised, peer reviewed, and refinalised writing that academics are paid to produce.  Larry has encouraged me to think that the blog may be a broader forum to test ideas and speak about what I’m reading and researching on.  In a way, it should be used precisely the way it was originally intended to be – a web log – a journal or log of some of the things I encounter during my research that might be of interest to others.  Many of my ideas may be premature – so I invite cordial, albeit critical feedback.

My research is primarily focused on Christianity in Mainland China.  More specifically, it is about Christian thought – theology – as it has been developed by indigenous Chinese.  Because of historical, cultural, and linguistic affinities with regions like Hong Kong, Taiwan,(South) Korea, Japan, and diasporic East Asian communities, I am often interested in these areas as well.  I was trained in three Western institutions in three English-speaking countries as a theologian, but find that theological and ideological frameworks shaped in the vacuum of an Anglophone world are often challenged when encountering non-Western Christian contexts.  It is this intersection that interests me most, and what I will try to write of here on this blog.